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What To Avoid When Talking to Children About The Dentist

What To Avoid When Talking to Children About The Dentist

There’s all sorts of advice out there about how to talk to children about visiting the dentist. Today, though, we’re here to tell you what you shouldn't to say!

Children often find visiting the dentist pretty intimidating at first. Although our office environment at Smile Town Langley has been specifically designed to make kids feel comfortable and relaxed, it still isn't always easy.

It's certainly understandable that kids get nervous or scared about visiting the dentist. After all, it’s a new environment, with new people, and your child is experiencing a variety of new, unfamiliar things. And for children who aren't used to dental care yet, having the inside of their mouths and their teeth examined can feel rather invasive or oppressive.

The best way to make these first denatl experiences easier on children is to prepare them ahead of time with an honest, quiet discussion about what to expect.

That said, there are several common pitfalls parents experience when they embark on this discussion. We’re here to help you avoid them!

When discussing visisting the dentist with you child, avoid the following:

Scary words

Words like ‘needle’ ‘shot’ or 'drill’ can be a bit alarming, and should be avoided if possible. Our dental team will introduce a special, kid-friendly words to children when they visits that will help them get through the scary stuff.

This brings us to our next point. You should also avoid...

Being specific

Detailed, exact descriptions of the dental checkup and cleaning will only make children try to picture what will take place. This may be confusing or scary for small children.

Besides that, you might also end up being asked questions whose answers require you to use some of the scary words above.

Instead, keep it simple.Simply explain that during a dental appointment, the dentist will examine their smiles, and count their teeth. That’s it!

Talking about your own negative experiences

Don't try to relate to your child's worries or fears by describing your own scary, uncomfortable, or painful dental experiences. This will only make those worries and fears worse.

You can learn more about how to be a good oral health care influence here.


Do your best to avoid speculating about what could happen if you child needs a filling, if you child needs aa dental or orthodontic appliance, what the fluoride treatment might taste like, how long the cleaning will take, and so on. Speculation of this sort will only result in unnecessary worrying and fretting.


Promising a treat for good behaviour at the dentist’s office may seem like a good way to ensure cooperation, but doing this may actually increase your child’s apprehension.

If you say, ‘if you’re good and don’t cry, you’ll get a special treat afterwards,’ your child may start to wonder about why he might feel inclined to cry or misbehave during the appointment.

If you could use some more guidance about talking to your child about visiting the dentist, contact Smile Town Langley today. We can help!

Download our FREE SmileTown Children's Activity Booklet.

This fun resource will help your kids get ready – and excited – about visiting the dentist.

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